The TV flashed with several attention grabbing headlines, and Ian watched with fervor as they discussed which celebrities just got divorced, those that had just gotten movie deals and the ones who had just committed their latest gaffe. It was his daily routine, and something his wife Brooke just didn’t understand. She’d tried to get into it for the first year of their marriage thirty years ago, but, eventually she gave up. Ian’s obsession with celebrities caused a riff in their marriage many years ago, but they eventually worked through their problems; which is to say she just learned to deal with it.
There was always one actor that Brooke noticed Ian couldn’t keep his eyes off of and his latest story had just hit the screen and Ian was planted firmly on the sofa, ready to soak in the news.
“Okay, Ian. Just tell me, what is it with this fascination with Oren Snyder?” She asked him
“I don’t know, honey,” he said to her “I just think he’s really good at everything, he can sing, he can dance, and the most important of all, he can act. Don’t you think so?”
“I mean, I guess so, but don’t you think you’re watching a little too much Oren?”
“It’s not like I’m stalking the guy, Brooke. It’s just celebrity fascination, something we all have to some extent. Even you do it, you can’t get enough of Kara Stevens. I mean, you own every movie she’s ever been in for christ’s sake.” He said to her
“Alright, you’re right, but I don’t sit around and watch as the paparazzi stalk her to find out who she’s sleeping with at the moment.”
“Let’s not get into this Brooke, please.” He said
“No, we should get into it. It bothers me that you watch so much of him. Are you in love with him or something?”
“Uh no, Brooke,” he said nervously, “you know that I’m only in love with one person, and that person is you.”
Brooke blushed and decided to drop it. It seemed to her that she would never get a straight answer out of him. She sat next to him and he wrapped his arms around her.
“So,” he said to her “do you want watch a movie?”
“Well, depends on which one. Are we watching No Way Out, starring Oren Snyder? Or Unfinished Business, also starring Oren Snyder? Or maybe the classic comedy Professor Claiborne; which also happens to star you-know-who?” she said
“It happens to be none of those darling, we’ll be watching Wonder Alley, his directorial debut.”
“Oh, great,” she said, “well, at least I don’t have to see Oren Snyder’s pretty-boy face on the screen”
After an hour and 45 minutes of intriguing dialogue and fantastic performances, Ian turned to Brooke with a tear in his eye and said to her: “That may have been the greatest movie I’ve ever seen.”
“Really? I mean it’s alright. I wouldn’t give it an Oscar or anything.”
Ian shot her a hard glance and she recoiled a bit “Am I not allowed to have an opinion about Oren Snyder’s work now? Is that what that was for?” she asked.
“No, it’s not that,” he said “look, there’s something I have to tell you”
Brooke braced herself for what was coming. A million possibilities raced through her head, but she never thought of what was ultimately the truth.
“Brooke, Oren Snyder reminds me a lot of me when I was younger. I was good at a lot of things and by watching everything he does I sort of get to see what my life could have been.”
“…that’s it?” She asked, slightly confused.
“No, there’s more. 27 years ago I…I cheated on you.” He said, his gaze remained fixed on her.
“You, you what? I don’t understand” She said, tears began to fall down her face “What does this have to do with anything? How could you have done that to me? I know we had problems then, but they weren’t that bad!”
“Honey, we were young, we were struggling for money, and we were fighting about it every night; it just got to me and I made a terrible mistake. I’m so sorry. But, that’s not all there is though.”
“What more could there possibly be? Did you cheat on me with my mother or something?!”
“No, nothing like that darling. The name of the woman I cheated on you with was named Coleen Blankenship, better known as–”
“Oren Snyder’s mother” She said. “So that’s why you’ve been so obsessed with him? You’re sad that you missed out on his life, or his money? Is that it? What about the children we had together? You remember Mike and Janna? You were so distant with them in their childhood!”
“I know, I’m sorry, it’s just that—”
“No! There’s no excuse for it Ian!” she said as she stood up from the sofa and sped off toward their bedroom. “You deprive our children of a great father simply because you’ve got an illegitimate child out there? You know what? I can’t even look at you right now!” She screamed at him.
She slammed the bedroom door amidst a torrent of curses and screams. Ian looked around his home solemnly and slowly stood up from the sofa. He grabbed his favorite leather jacket and set off toward the front door. As he opened the door he yelled as loud as he could “Brooke! I love you!” and set off